Some people keep asking me the question "can I have security camera in my house?" and that's a common concern, especially if you are not the only one living in the place and want to make sure you are not doing something illegal.
The answer to this question is, yes you can have security cameras in your home since it's private property but you need to make sure you are not invading people's privacy because that's an illegal activity.
In this article, I explain more about having security cameras installed in your home or apartment, so I recommend you reading to the end...
What are the benefits of security cameras?
Installing security cameras in your homes does not only secure your property.
It also allows you to keep an eye on your children and elderly parents while you are away. In other words, it does not only keep the bad guys away.
A security system can give you peace of mind because you know that your property and your family are safe and secure, even in your absence.
You must learn how to choose a security camera system for your home but you also need to understand what is legal or not before start filming and recording people.
Here, I will be talking about the legalities of having a security camera in your home to get the protection you want without breaking any laws.
The Legality of Installing Security Cameras in Your Home or Apartment
Before doing something which may affect other people, the first thing you must do is to be aware if there are existing laws and regulations regarding such issues.
Installing security cameras, for instance, may be covered by certain laws.
Do you know for example if security cameras are allowed in the bathrooms? Probably not, you may think... well my friend, the common sense shows at first that it's not but all depends on the situation and sometimes you can have a special need for a specific installation and you must be covered by the laws where you live in.
IMPORTANT: To make sure you are not breaking any laws in your country or state, please talk to an attorney before installing your cameras around.
Hence, the importance of knowing about them, and take the necessary precautions to avoid violating these laws, and get into trouble.
Below are some legal pieces of advice on the installation and use of single room security cameras. However, take note that they are only applicable to security cameras for dormitories, reception and waiting rooms, hotel rooms, server rooms, and living rooms.
The Use of Security Cameras Must Not Be Intrusive on people's Privacy
Intrusion on other people’s privacy is a form of violation of their rights.
All of us want to enjoy a little privacy, especially concerning private matters. You may be held liable if you intrude on other people’s privacy.
In other words, to avoid such problems, you must avoid installing security cameras in places for intimate purposes on bathrooms, dressing rooms, and restrooms.
Otherwise, you will have to face consequences, and it might include legal suits or issues. So please, just don't do it.
For average rooms, however, you have the option to turn it off when they are occupied and turn it on when nobody uses the rooms. This way, you can secure your properties and at the same time, not intrude upon the privacy of others, too.
Seek Legal Advice Before Installing the Security Cameras
Regulations on video recording and audio recording must be given special attention if you are planning to install indoor security cameras.
For instance, laws vary in different states of America and other countries.
In the U.S. some states require you get the consent of both parties involved and states may require the consent of just one party.
Therefore it is recommended that you ask and seek advice from people who are legally knowledgeable about this topic. In other words, you must consult local attorneys so you can have a clear explanation about the use of security cameras.
Secure An Agreement from All Parties Involved
Before installing and using a small room security camera, you must first obtain agreement from all parties involved.
The installation and use of security cameras are generally legal to monitor living rooms, baby rooms, hotel rooms, and dormitory rooms.
However, problems and other issues might crop up if the said devices are not used properly to serve its purpose, and that is for the security and safety of the occupants of the room.
Be careful to not misuse the security cameras
The issue of misuse of room security cameras is the most common problem you might encounter when planning to install one. Some people would take it as an invasion of their privacy, especially with the thought of its misuse at the back of their minds.
Therefore, before installing a room security camera, you must first make sure that everybody involved agrees with your plan. And use the device properly.
Yes, even in your own home. Other family members might not be comfortable with such devices invading their privacy. Especially if you have other people living with you in your homes, a nanny most probably, or a nursemaid.
Respect people's opinion
Respect the opinions of other people and consult them first before making a move.
If you are renting an apartment or a room, however, and you will be installing a battery-powered security camera, there is no need for you to inform your landlord or get permission from them as there is no need for you to drill holes and damage the interior of the room or apartment you are renting to install it.
Make Sure The Security Camera Are Visible
If people activities are being monitored and recorded by a security camera, they must know where the cameras are installed to they can feel more comfortable.
You don't need to put huge signs to indicate that everybody is on camera, but at least let people know that there's no hidden camera in the place.
There are some discrete dome or bullet security cameras you can use in your home and they are not that noticeable, but still are on everybody's sight.
Can I have a security camera in my apartment?
Yes, you can have a security camera in your apartment as long as they don't invade other people's privacy or even yours since it's not a good idea to record yourself in situations that could be embarrassing, so be careful with that.
You may also have some kind of problem if you are renting the place and the landlord doesn't allow you drilling holes in the walls to install your security cameras.
It's a good idea to talk to the landlord or the HOA before installing stuff.
Tips for Installing Security Cameras
Today, several top security camera brands have developed reliable security cameras. These come with easy configuration, especially the models that are designed to work with remote monitoring via mobile devices.
==> I recommend you to read the article: Security Cameras That Work With Google Assistant and Alexa before buying a camera for your home.
Installing these security cameras for rooms on your own, you can not only save installation fees. You can also learn about how these cameras work better.
Routers may not be accessible in some hotel rooms and students' dorm rooms.
However, you can still set up security cameras without routers. Storing recordings to SD cards or connecting your cameras to a PC, can allow you to enjoy peace of mind to monitor with portable security cameras for hotel rooms and dorm rooms.
==> Here's another recommendation, please read the article: How to connect IP camera to the computer without a router and the article Can Security Cameras Work Without Internet? to learn more about the topic.
Therefore, use room security cameras without routers.
However, take note that you can only record videos locally to the SD cards. But not access the room security cameras remotely without a network connection.
News on the hacking and abuse of hotel room security cameras are common scenarios in today’s time, so it's a good idea to make sure you know how to protect your CCTV camera from hackers to avoid heaving problems.
The absence of data encryption technology makes room security cameras more vulnerable to hacking. Therefore they are likely to be exposed to the public.
Extra Security Measures For Your Home
You can also make sure your home is safe by taking some precaution to lock everything up in the proper manner.
There are other practical methods to increase security in your dorm rooms, living rooms, and rental properties even without using room security cameras.
Secure Your Doors and Windows
You may add deadbolt locks and chain locks to your doors. Also, add locks and bars to the windows to keep them more secure.
Use an Alarm System
Besides the use of security cameras, you can also have an alarm system installed in your property, which means you will have protection when somebody breaks into your home by forcing a door or breaking a window.
You can use a DIY alarm system or hire companies like ADT and others.
Have a Property Insurance
Having property insurance is very important to keep you safe.
It doesn't matter how good your alarm or security camera system is, having an insurance policy is always a good idea to keep your peace of mind.
It is understandable for people to finds ways to secure your premises and keep your family and property secure.
However, before installing security cameras in your homes, especially in rooms, make sure you have enough knowledge about legalities and rules to observe before installing CCTV cameras in your property.
This way you will not tread on other peoples shoes and violate such laws and regulations.
Want to learn more ?
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Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 15+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.